Witches Get Stitches by Juliette Cross

Coming 20 July, 317 pages, £3.53

4 stars

I have been completely obsessed with this series since the first book Wolf Gone Wild. I don’t read many paranormal romances so I can’t find a comparison, but I absolutely love this dual New Orleans world. It’s somehow cosy and edgy at the same time.

The stories focus on vivacious witch sisters who work and live among humans, too-cool vampires, mysterious grims and uncontrollable werewolves. The author doesn’t bog you down with lore and complicated world building. Everything is revealed at a gentle pace and I know there are more strange things to come. Each book follows one witch as they try to fulfil their hopes and career while getting entangled with an annoyingly alluring supernatural. Wolf Gone Wild introduces werewolf drama; Don’t Drive And Hex (book 2) features an OP vampire-Bollywood sex symbol. I would recommend starting at the beginning of the series to understand all the tensions between the characters. 

This third installment follows Violet, a fierce no-nonsense tattoo artist meeting her match with Nico, a werewolf we met briefly in the first book. I loved the mysterious dynamic between the two which was revealed and explored fully in this book. Their relationship is explosive but there was a ‘fear-of-commitment’ angst that trailed a bit too long. In the backdrop is a continuing theme of prejudice and fear which ended with an exciting clash. Overall the story was both comforting and thrilling, and I can’t wait for more witchy antics!

A huge thank you to the amazing author who went out of her way to send me an advanced copy of this book. This series has soothed me through some troubling moments in our current times.

Full synopsis:

Get ready for a fun, flirty paranormal romance in the STAY A SPELL world:

  • Friends to lovers
  • Protective alpha werewolf
  • Snarky, potty-mouthed witch
  • Loads of pining
  • Low angst, high humor
  • Super steamy (and a magical supply closet)

Violet Savoie has a plan. A dream, rather. To open her own tattoo shop, which caters to supernaturals in need of permanent charms. As a powerful Seer, she has the potent magic to cast every kind of spell. Except the kind to give werewolves control over their beastly side. And her business partner Nico needs help in the worst kind of way.

Nico Cruz has a secret. A motive, rather. To subtly stalk and seduce Violet until she finally recognizes they are fated to be together. Ever since their heated encounter in Austin on New Year’s Eve two years earlier, he’s been dying to get his hands–and his tongue–back on her body. He knows a woman like Violet can’t be courted in the usual way. Luckily, Nico has no scruples about misbehaving to get what he wants.

But when his former pack roams into town, and an old friend is far too interested in Violet, his focus shifts to the threat venturing into his territory. Nico may come across as the quiet, broody one, but the intruders are about to regret stepping foot in New Orleans. And when Violet goes missing, no charm or spell can keep Nico’s wolf at bay.

From Best Friend to Fiancee by Ellie Darkins

Published 27 May, 144 pages, Mills & Boon True Love, £2.99

Synopsis:

She’s strictly off-limits…
Isn’t she?

Jannes is a professional yachtsman with a playboy reputation. The tabloids devote more columns to his romantic entanglements than his round-the-world races! But scandals spook sponsors, so Jannes makes a proposal of mutual convenience to his commitment-phobe best friend Lara: pose as his girlfriend for PR purposes only and he’ll help keep her chaotic family at bay. It’s perfect… Until the paparazzi leak photos of Lara with a diamond ring on her finger!

Review:

Everything felt effortless with this. Ellie Darkins firmly guides us through an adorable friends-to-lovers and fake relationship tale that made a soothing weekend read. There’s a tendency with lighter romance for MCs to be quite bland and the plotline too loose, but I immediately connected with Lara and Jannes. I felt like I knew them very well – not easy for a book under 200 pages!

There was no frustrating slow burn as well, without giving away too much, I’d say there was a controlled hesitation which was intense at the right moments. Of course, we have our classic tropes, especially only-one-bed and my favourite – the wise, all-knowing grandma. The MCs had their inner demons, but they had a confidence about them, especially with Lara. It wasn’t too tortuous and drawn out, and I felt assured she would be able to conquer them.
This story reminded me just how fun and easy love can be – a delightful quick read.

The author was kind enough to reach out to me – thank you so much for my copy.

You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry

Published by Viking, Penguin, 365 pages, 99p (kindle)

Synopsis:

TWO FRIENDS

TEN SUMMER TRIPS

THEIR LAST CHANCE TO FALL IN LOVE

12 SUMMERS AGO: Poppy and Alex meet. They hate each other, and are pretty confident they’ll never speak again.

11 SUMMERS AGO: They’re forced to share a ride home from college and by the end of it a friendship is formed. And a pact: every year, one vacation together.

10 SUMMERS AGO: Alex discovers his fear of flying on the way to Vancouver.

Poppy holds his hand the whole way.

7 SUMMERS AGO: They get far too drunk and narrowly avoid getting matching tattoos in New Orleans.

2 SUMMERS AGO: It all goes wrong.

THIS SUMMER: Poppy asks Alex to join her on one last trip. A trip that will determine the rest of their lives.

Review:

4 Stars

Ever since Beach Read, Emily Henry is a hot, blinking light on my radar for writing the most exciting rom com. Like her previous book, don’t be fooled by the light-hearted, sugary cover – this is a deep friends-to-lovers story with sharp lines. The characters are intense, one-of-kind and reassuringly real and messy. From start to finish, I was laughing at the quips and frowning at the complexity of the relationships described.

I love opposites-attract and this book does it so well. Poppy is adorably loud while Alex is reserved and self-conscious. When they get together it’s both comforting and hilarious. I’m not a fan of the friends-to-lovers trope as it can be quite frustrating and the ‘will-they-won’t-they’ question lingers into a slow burn. To be honest, this book did have some long moments and I was glad that I listened to it as an audiobook. It was more relaxing to listen to some of the awkward moments. The narration was also energetic, sophisticated and avoided being too embarrassing when it came to the more romantic parts (which can be a problem when there’s one narrator doing male and female voices!).


Most of all You And Me… stood out to me as a truly deep exploration of relationships; what people mean to each other and how we need them at particular moments of our lives. It stayed with me and I can’t wait for the next book.